web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Young Entrepreneurs from India, Brazil, and El Salvador Experience Israel for First Time

International participants from New Zealand and El Salvador at an Israel coffee shop in Jerusalem with StandWithUS Israel director, Michael Dickson.

International participants from New Zealand and El Salvador at an Israel coffee shop in Jerusalem with StandWithUS Israel director, Michael Dickson.
Photo Credit: Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem – An international group of young entrepreneurs had a first-hand glimpse into Israel’s social activism and entrepreneurial ventures in a unique project last week.

Hailing from India, El Salvador, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa, the participants, ranging from their early 20s to 30s, with a background in entrepreneurial work, were part of an international conference called S.E.E. Israel (Social Entrepreneur Exchange).Organized by Jerusalem’s Hebrew University students as part of a StandWithUs public diplomacy training program, the conference connected the international visitors with young Israeli social innovators, enterprises and organizations.

The four-day conference featured lectures and meetings with experts on a variety of topics including informal education and solutions to universal problems facing civil societies as well as how to strengthen society’s weaker sectors. The participants also experienced on-site tours of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even participated in a social activist project during their stay.

For Jithin C. Nedumala, 25, of Bangalore, India, and founder of Make A Difference (MAD), the largest youth volunteer network for Indian orphans and underprivileged children, the visit to Israel was an eye-opening experience.

“Being here, I understand Israel and Israelis as people much better. In India, our perception of Israel comes from the media and we always hear about the conflict, especially the flotilla incident. Israel is always presented as an oppressor from this perspective,” Nedumala told Tazpit News Agency.

“The first time I heard about the entrepreneurial side of Israel was when I read the book, Start-Up Nation, which got me interested in Israel in a different way,” Nedumala explained.

“I’m amazed by how informal everything is—you don’t feel any hierarchy and people generally let others be. Israelis even refer to the Prime Minister by his nickname—Bibi. In India, society is much more strict and formal,” Nedumala concluded.

Jithin was not the only participant who discovered another side to Israel. Polyana de Oliveira of San Paulo, Brazil did not anticipate the diversity of the country. “There are so many different types of people here from all backgrounds,” she said.

The 26-year-old Oliveira is bringing back to Brazil “a lot of ideas” for her own tourist destination company that she has launched for English speakers in Brazil, called My Destination. “I learned so much about social models during the conference and the fact that we all have similar issues and problems– and that there are creative ways to solve them.”

In addition, the international participants had the opportunity to directly interact with Israelis at the Jerusalem market, Mahane Yehuda which has over 250 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish, spices, wines and other goods. They joined Israeli volunteers from the organization, Gveret Im Salim, or Lady with Baskets, which was founded two years ago to help elderly citizens shop in the open market. Distinguished by yellow shirts, the volunteers, who network on Facebook, walk around every Thursday offering to carry heavy bags of goods of elderly people stocking up for the weekend Sabbath. In exchange for the help, the elderly shoppers, many of whom have come to depend on the extra help, share stories of their past with the younger helpers.

It was a chance for the international group of the S.E.E. Israel program to learn more about the Jerusalem lifestyle and converse with elderly Israeli locals who told them stories of growing up in the city.

Rodrigo Aguilar of El Salvador even had the chance to practice a little Hebrew at that the market, which he learned during the visit. “I felt almost Israeli, saying Shalom, Todah (thank you) and Yalla (hurry up),” he said with a smile.

Aguilar, 21, a university student in El Salvador, who has volunteered for A Roof For My Country, an NGO that builds basic homes for the impoverished, explained that he came to Israel to “to see how it really is here.”

“The coverage that Israel receives in my country is usually negative, so I have always done my own research into the conflict and Israel which was why I wasn’t too surprised by what I’ve experienced culturally throughout the trip.”

And Tatyana Kurbatoff, 31, from New Zealand, found the conference especially inspiring. “You can see that the early pioneer spirit is still alive in the entrepreneurial outlook among the Israelis we have met. This was a great opportunity for us to meet, share and learn about the value of social innovation against the fascinating cultural landscape of Israel.”

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Young Entrepreneurs from India, Brazil, and El Salvador Experience Israel for First Time”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest News Stories
Chabad of Dead Sea brings friends from Arad to create a last-minute celebration sheva brochot with the seven wedding blessings with a new married couple.

At the ninth hour, Chabad of Dead Sea whipped together sheva brochot in 2 hours for a newly wedded tourist couple — out of nowhere.

Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.

Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”

Cairo Jews shove and curse a journalist dressed up as a Jew.

An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.

Volunteers with Shomer Hachadash.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

Scotland Yard said it cannot prevent the upcoming neo-Nazi march that is planned for July 4th.

A store in Rafah, Gaza displays women’s Islamic head coverings for sale.

A State Dept. official is in Israel to talk about making the region nuclear-free.

The highway at the property is a favorite spot for PA Arabs to try to throw

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annual medical report  as written by his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovitz, states, “Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication.” The reports notes that “Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at a […]

The President will speak Friday night at Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue, probably to continue to express his opinion that Israel is racist & Israel should embody “Judeo-Christian”/universal values (as opposed to Jewish values). They’re going to lap it up .

This week ISIS captured two major cities, one in Iraq, one in Syria. Assad’s escape plan revealed.

Israeli Pres. Rivlin expresses deep concern after vandals torch a Bnei Akiva building and synagogue in northern Israel.

More than 70 percent of Muslims in Netherlands reportedly view their brethren fighting the “jihad” in Syria as “heroes.”

Israel rejects a Swiss court decision granting $1.1 billion to Iran after an oil deal went sour after the Islamic Revolution.

Liberman apologizes for describing Netanyahu’s decision to meet with head of Arab Joint Party List as “autistic.”

Former FM Avigdor Liberman slams PM Netanyahu for scheduling talks with the head of the united Arab parties.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Volunteers with Shomer Hachadash.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

Birthright Israel participants in Israel.

The educational organization will bring 1,500 French Jews to Israel to learn about the Jewish state and immerse them in their Jewish heritage.

PM Netanyahu sent a letter of condolences to the Levinger family on the passing of the late leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who was known for his life work in establishing the modern Jewish community of Hebron and as one of the founder of the Gush Emunim settlement movement.

MyECheck has bought Israeli company, Seergate Ltd, which concentrates on electronic payment solutions, for $3 million.

When they return home, participants will serve as goodwill ambassadors building bridges between the United States and Israel.

The largest oil and gas conference in the world, known as the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was held this week and 14 Israeli companies were present.

“I had just got the role of my life, Shylock,” recalled Elias. “But following all the hostilities, the Zionist underground members came to the rehearsal and took me away.” 

Netanyahu said, repeating the mistakes made with North Korea, this time with Iran, is a great historic blunder.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/young-entrepreneurs-from-india-brazil-and-el-salvador-experience-israel-for-first-time/2012/08/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: